I love the flavors in this fall-themed Turkey Soup with Kale, Mushrooms, and Butternut Squash, and this tasty soup is easy to make. I’ve updated this recipe to replace the rice with cauliflower rice, add more mushrooms, and add more kale to make it lower in carbs. See below for a link to the original version if you were a fan of that one and tips for making the soup with leftover turkey.
It took me quite a while to develop a long-term relationship with ground turkey, which I think has the potential to be a bit boring. But in the early days of my blog I put some effort into experimenting with it and developed the original version of this Turkey Soup with Kale, Mushrooms, and Butternut Squash.
That recipe was definitely a winner, but the original soup had rice and fewer veggies, and it was a bit higher in carbs than I wanted. And the early photos weren’t anything I was that happy with by today’s standards either! So I updated this recipe with Kara into a version that’s lower in carbs, but equally delicious. (If anyone was a fan of the original recipe, you can still find the printer-friendly version of that soup back in the archives.)
If there’s a secret to ground turkey recipe success, it’s to use a lot of other flavorful ingredients with the turkey, and in addition to mushrooms, butternut squash, and kale, this soup has plenty of dried herbs and a generous amount of balsamic vinegar stirred in at the end. And this is a soup to simmer on the stove and make your house smell great! We loved the soup when we worked on the recipe; hope everyone else who’s a fan of these ingredients will enjoy it too.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
Can you use pre-cut butternut squash cubes in this soup?
If you’re a follower of this site you know I am not a fan of those pre-cut butternut squash cubes and even have a post on How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash. But for using in soup, the pre-cut squash cubes are perfect! I hope you can find them in your store; in Utah I get them at Costco or Kroger.
How can you make this soup with leftover turkey?
If you want to make this soup with leftover turkey, use about 3 cups of diced turkey and don’t add it at the very end, when you add the kale!
Can you make this soup in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot?
I’m sure this soup can be made in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot. But I haven’t made it that way, and I’m not comfortable just making up instructions and sharing them for a recipe I haven’t tested. (And I simply can’t make every recipe numerous ways, thanks for understanding that.) There’s a collection of Slow Cooker and Instant Pot Turkey Soup Recipes on my Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker site that might help anyone who wants to adapt the recipe. And if anyone makes an Instant Pot version or a Slow Cooker version, please come back and share in the comments about what you did and I will update this section with a note to help other people find them!
Can this recipe be gluten-free?
The Better than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base I used is not guaranteed to be gluten-free, so if you need this recipe to be gluten-free be sure to use a gluten-free soup base.
How to Make Turkey Soup with Kale, Mushrooms, and Butternut Squash:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Finely chop some onion and celery and cook it with a little olive oil in the soup pot until the onions barely start to brown. Then add dried thyme, poultry seasoning, Spike Seasoning, and minced garlic and cook about a minute more.
- Add 10 cups chicken stock or broth and 3 generous tablespoons of Better than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base (affiliate link) and start to simmer.
- Heat a little olive oil in another pan and cook the turkey until it’s nicely browned.
- While the turkey browns, wash the mushrooms and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the browned turkey and the mushrooms to the soup pot and simmer 20 minutes. (If you’re using leftover turkey, don’t add it yet!)
- I used pre-cut butternut squash cubes (something I rarely buy, but they’re great for soup.) I cut a few into smaller pieces to get small cubes for the soup. Add squash to the soup with the one cup frozen cauliflower rice and simmer 20 minutes more.
- Baby kale doesn’t need to be washed but I like to chop it a bit. (I break off the bigger stems, but it’s totally optional.)
- Add kale and simmer for a final 20-30 minutes. This when you add the leftover turkey if you are using that.
- It’s done when the kale and butternut squash are both quite soft.
- Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table if desired.
Want more tasty low-carb soups with Turkey?
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep; to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 1/2 large onion, chopped small
- 4 stalks celery, chopped small
- 2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp. Poultry Seasoning
- 1 T Spike Seasoning
- 1 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic (or more)
- 10 cups chicken broth (see notes)
- 3 T vegetable soup base
- 12 oz. brown Cremini mushrooms, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey (or 3 cups leftover diced turkey)
- 1 lb. small cubes butternut squash (see notes)
- 5 oz. baby kale leaves
- 1 cup frozen cauliflower rice
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
- Chop the onion and celery into small pieces.
- Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in the bottom of the soup pot, add chopped vegetables, and saute until they’re starting to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add the dried thyme, Poultry Seasoning, Spike Seasoning, and minced garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Add the chicken stock or broth and vegetable soup base and start to simmer the soup.
- While soup simmers heat 2 tsp. olive oil in another large non-stick frying pan and cook the turkey over medium-high heat, breaking apart with the turner as it cooks. Let the turkey get nicely browned, about 8-10 minutes.
- While the turkey browns, wash the mushrooms and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Add turkey and mushrooms to the soup and simmer 20 minutes. (If you’re using leftover turkey don’t add it yet!)
- If you don’t have pre-cut squash cubes, cut butternut squash into small cubes, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch square. (It’s preferable if they’re not all the same size, because the smaller ones will dissolve into the soup more and the larger ones will create texture.)
- Add the chopped butternut squash and the cauliflower rice to the soup and simmer 20 minutes before adding the kale.
- Baby kale probably doesn’t need to be washed, but I like to removing bigger stems and chopping it a bit.
- When the soup has simmered 20 minutes with the butternut squash, add the chopped kale or baby kale and continue to simmer 20-30 minutes more. (This is when to add the leftover turkey if you’re using that!)
- Taste soup and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Stir in the balsamic vinegar (I would start with 2 tablespoons and then see if you want more.)
- Serve soup hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table as desired.
If you don’t have homemade chicken stock use chicken broth from a can or a carton.
I use Better than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base (affiliate link) to add flavor to the soup. This is not gluten-free so be sure to use a gluten-free soup base if needed. You can use any brand of vegetable base you prefer.
I used half of a 2 lb. package of pre-cut squash cubes and cut them smaller.
This soup will probably freeze pretty well, although the squash, cauliflower rice, and kale will all break apart some from being frozen. The soup will definitely keep in the fridge for at least a week.
Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 306Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1926mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 26g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
I updated this recipe for Turkey Soup with Kale, Mushrooms, and Butternut Squash to make it lower in carbs, and the new version should work for low-carb diets (but probably not Keto.) This would also make a delicious meal for Phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet. (Butternut squash is a limited food, so use portion control if you’re actively trying to lose weight.)
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup Recipes for more recipes like this one! Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was posted in 2013. It was updated in 2022 to a new version using cauliflower rice, more mushrooms, and more kale to make a soup that’s lower in carbs.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.